My city has been quarantined by the county health department so I have plenty of time to do all those pesky tasks that I’ve been putting off. One of those tasks is thinking about my end of life wishes and getting it down on paper. I’ve been putting it off for years at least 10 years when my mother-in-law died and she didn’t get what she wanted because she didn’t write it down, and so, she got what her daughter wanted.
Here is some interesting information about advanced directives; first, most individuals under the age of 65 don’t have advanced directives. Second, advanced directives are associated with lower health costs. Third, higher income and college education are both positively associated with having advanced directives. Furthermore, having an advanced directive leads to fewer hospitalizations, a lower likelihood of dying in the hospital, and an increased use of hospice care.
In Colorado there are 4 types of advanced directives that you might find helpful.
- Medical Durable Power of Attorney allows you to choose someone to medical decisions for you. This person must make decisions based on your values and stated wishes.
- Living Will is a form instruction Doctors about artificial life support. Living Wills do not allow someone to make decisions regarding end of life.
- Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment is for those who are seriously or chronically ill. MOST provides information to medical providers about what protocols are to be taken at the end of life.
- CPR Directive is exactly what it sounds like. It is a document that instructs any medical caregiver including emergency caregivers like EMTs and Emergency room Doctor’s not to perform CPR.
You may want all 4 advanced directives depending on your age and health, but at the very least you need to have a written a Medical Durable Power of Attorney. Give yourself piece of mind sit down and spend some time thinking about your end of life and how you want it to be. Provide your family with a map that will give them peace in case of an unspeakable emergency.
Everyone is going to have some extra time right now use it to plan for the future.